Monday, December 11

Lavender for Relaxation

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Lavender is a part of the mint family and is a perennial, which means it comes back from year to year.  It will die down in the fall and come back with new growth in the spring.  Lavender plants grow best in full sun and need good drainage.  In colder months they can be covered or brought inside as they are sensitive to cold, damp weather. 

Its beautiful purple color is appealing to look at and even the leaves have a pleasant aroma.  The lighter purple has a soft sweet fragrance and the darker purple gives off a stronger but still sweet aroma. 

Bees are drawn to the sweet nectar filled blossoms of the lavender plant.  The honey they make from this nectar is considered to be premium.  

Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities making it a good treatment for insect bites as well as an insect repellent.  A few drops of lavender essential oil applied to a bite will help reduce the itching and swelling. 

Oil of lavender is also effective when used to dry up acne without irritating the skin.  Its fragrance is sweet and pleasant and can be found as an ingredient in many cosmetic and bath products and is also added to naturally made candles for calming aromatherapy.    

Lavender flowers are used in many herbal teas.  Put a tea bag in a cup of hot water and let it steep.  Sweeten to taste with sugar or honey and breathe in the delicate aroma while you enjoy this relaxing drink.  Herbal teas cleanse your body of toxins while they provide a delicious way to wind down after a busy day and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

Another way to use lavender to help you fall asleep is to keep a bunch of dried lavender in a vase near your bed.  You can also tie a bunch of the dried flowers in a handkerchief or piece of sheer cloth and hang it somewhere near your bed.  The aroma will linger for several weeks. 

Stress is detrimental to our physical and emotional health.  Lavender can help your system to adjust to situations of stress and increase your ability to remain calm.  This will also help prevent the headaches that many people experience which are triggered by stress. 

For whatever type of restlessness, stress or discomfort you are experiencing give lavender a try.  There are several ways to enjoy its benefits.  Herbal tea, a few drops of essential oil in a warm bath, dried bunches kept near your bed or essential oils applied directly to the skin.  The plant is attractive, the flowers are lovely and fragrant, the oils gleaned from the plant are aromatic and have healing qualities and it can be used as a healthy spice added to cooking.

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